London's best gastropubs - the city's best pubs for food

Some of London's best food can be found in its greatest pubs. We've rounded them all up from those serving amazing scotch eggs to top steak and Michelin-starred pub food.


Central London

devonshireThe Devonshire

Soho - 17 Denman Street, London W1D 7HW

An instant hit the minute it served its first pint of Guinness, The Devonshire is a product of the dream team behind it. Landlord Oisin Rogers (ex-Guinea Grill), business partner Charlie Carroll (Flat Iron founder) and chef Ashley Palmer-Watts (ex-Fat Duck and Dinner by Heston) are the folk responsible for its successful mix of perfect pub and top-tier restaurant.

More about The Devonshire


The AudleyThe Audley

Mayfair - 41-43 Mount St, London W1K 2RX

While upstairs is the very upmarket Mount St Restaurant, this ground-floor pub is very much in the style of a classic Mayfair boozer. Expect a notably good pint of Guinness and a menu created by the same team as the restaurant upstairs with reinvented classic pub grub like a London Rarebit and Coronation crab on toast. 

More about The Audley


The Barley MowThe Barley Mow

Mayfair - 82 Duke Street, London W1K 6JG

This Mayfair pub is now owned by the Cubitt House group who have given it a complete makeover, as well as relaunching the restaurant upstairs (which has been designed with a Mayfair clubby vibe). In charge of the food is chef Ben Tish and the menu here "takes its inspiration from Britain with a little bit of France."

More about The Barley Mow


The French House  The French House

Soho - 49 Dean St, London W1D 5BG

The French House has a history of showcasing excellent chefs in its tiny upstairs dining room, and that's definitely the case today with Neil Borthwick in the kitchen. Here you can expect classic French bistro food served with love and care. Make sure to leave room for the amazing Paris Brest. 

More about The French House


The GeorgeThe George

Fitzrovia - 55 Great Portland St, London W1W 7LQ

Once a pub of two halves, this Fitzrovia restaurant now serves the same menu throughout. Snacks are impressive, including Parker house bread rolls with garlic butter or red curry pork scratchings and also look out for their beef and Guinness pie with clotted cream mash. There's a notably impressive English sparkling list here too. 

More about The George


The Guinea Grill  The Guinea Grill

Mayfair - 30 Bruton Pl, London W1J 6NL

Mayfair's Guinea Grill has had something of a resurgence in recent years, regaining its crown as one of London's best steak restaurants. The bar snacks are well worth checking out, particularly the excellent scotch eggs and you'll also find one of London's best pints of Guinness here. 

More about The Guinea Grill


The Wigmore  The Wigmore

Marylebone - 15 Langham Pl, London W1B 3DE

The Wigmore is attached to fancy Marylebone hotel The Langham, but acts as its own venue and remains one of the best pubs in the immediate area. The menu is overseen by Michel Roux Jr, with his take on "quintessential British pub fare". 

More about The Wigmore


Also see... 

Lore of the Land (Fitzrovia) - Better known as Guy Ritchie's pub, the food and great service are a real draw here.


North London

The Baring

Hoxton - 55 Baring St, London N1 3DS

This pub (previously The Poet) was reborn as The Baring with an impressive team behind it. In the kitchen is Rob Tecwyn (ex-Dabbous and Kerridge's) and the pub is run by Adam Symonds (ex-Orasay and Six Portland Road). They're offering up a seasonal menu, showcasing provenance and aiming for a low environmental impact.

More about The Baring


The Bull & Last

Highgate - 168 Highgate Rd, London NW5 1QS

This Highgate pub on the fringes of the heath has long been a beacon for great pub cooking - they have even brought out their own cookbook. The menu here changes daily with seasonality a big focus. And if it's on, their legendary scotch egg is an absolute must. 

More about The Bull & Last


The Clarence Tavern

Stoke Newington - 102 Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 0LA

From the team who brought us the Anchor & Hope, this Stokie pub serves up top-class gastropub food on Church Street. Menus celebrate what’s good in season and the desserts are particularly strong.

More about The Clarence Tavern


The Compton Arms  The Compton Arms

Islington - 4 Compton Ave, London N1 2XD

Nick Stephens, owner of The Compton Arms, has a good eye for spotting potential in the residencies he lures to this tucked-away pub in Canonbury. At the moment the pub is host to Dara Klein's Tiella which is all about traditional, rustic Italian food.

More about The Compton Arms


The Drapers Arms  The Drapers Arms

Islington - 44 Barnsbury St, London N1 1ER

With landlord Nick Gibson in charge of affairs at this Barnsbury pub you can be assured not only of great food, but an award-winning wine list to boot. There’s always a really good pie on the menu, which raises funds for Action Against Hunger and it’s a particularly good place to go if you’re looking for great fish or veggie options.  

More about The Drapers Arms

Book The Drapers Arms


Hicce HartHicce Hart

Islington - 58 Penton St, London N1 9PZ

Hicce Hart is what happens when the team behind the original Hicce (in nearby King's Cross), chef Pip Lacey and Gordy McIntyre, open a pub in Islington. Expect a similar approach to the food as Hicce, leaning a little more to the comfort food end of the spectrum and showcasing their own take on pub food classics. You can also enjoy a pint here and order a pizza from Hicce Pizza across the road. 

More about Hicce Hart


The ParakeetThe Parakeet

Kentish Town - 256 Kentish Town Rd, London NW5 2EN

The Parakeet is a pub run by the people behind Camden's Blues Kitchen, having taken over what was The Oxford pub. It remains part pub, part restaurant and it's that restaurant run by chef Ben Allen that has got everyone talking. The main menu changes regularly and there's an emphasis on cooking over fire. Most recently, they've brought in a brand new bar menu.

More about The Parakeet


Plaquemine Lock  Plaquemine Lock

Islington - 139 Graham St, London N1 8LB

You’ll find this Islington pub just beside the Regent’s Canal, but the food here is inspired by a very different body of water - the Bayou. Cajun and Creole food are the order of the day here with shrimp and grits and Po’boy sandwiches on offer alongside an extensive oyster bar selection. 

More about Plaquemine Lock


The PlimsollThe Plimsoll

Finsbury Park - 52 St Thomas’s Road, London N4 2QW

When the Four Legs crew took on this Finsbury Park expectations were high but who could have predicted what a white-hot success this would be? It’s often very hard to get a reservation but you can always rock up to the bar section for a drink and one of their fabulous Dexter cheeseburgers.

More about The Plimsoll


The Red Lion and SunThe Red Lion and Sun

Highgate - 25 North Rd, London N6 4BE

Back in the 16th century when the first inn opened on this spot, this would have been a coaching inn en route to London. Now it attracts celebrities and Highgate foodies alike who adore the front and back gardens in summer, and the cosy interiors in winter. Landlord Heath Ball and his team serve up an elevated pub menu that celebrates its ties with producers and the wine list is legendary.

More about The Red Lion and Sun


The Tamil PrinceThe Tamil Prince

Islington - 115 Hemingford Rd, London N1 1BZ

The Tamil Prince is a pub in Islington's Barnsbury area that focuses on South Asian cuisine. It's named after the chef, Prince Durairaj and the cooking has specific references to the cuisine of his home state of Tamil Nadu. There's nothing else quite like this in Islington, let alone London, and the food is excellent (and very well-reviewed). They also now have a follow-up pub, The Tamil Crown, in Angel.

More about The Tamil Prince


Also see...

The Farrier (Camden) - This is Camden Market's first pub and features elevated pub food from chef Jake Perry

Pig & Butcher (Islington) - Pub with a focus on meat which it butchers on-site

Smokehouse (Islington) - This Islington pub is, as the name suggests, big on cooking over fire. 



South London

The Anchor and Hope  The Anchor and Hope

Waterloo - 36 The Cut, London SE1 8LP

Ever since this Southwark pub burst onto London’s gastropub scene, it’s been serving standout food down behind Waterloo Station. Inspiration for the menu roams around Europe, so you’re as likely to find vitello tonnato here as you are potted shrimps on toast. There’s a strong emphasis on desserts here too

More about The Anchor and Hope


The Camberwell Arms  The Camberwell Arms

Camberwell -  65 Camberwell Church St, London SE5 8TR

A multi-award-winning South London gastropub, the kitchen team here pride themselves on making as much as they can in-house from their charcuterie and bread to ice cream. Menus change regularly and read very well - with many dishes designed to shine when cooked over their charcoal fire. Sunday lunches are particularly good.

More about The Camberwell Arms


Canton Arms  Canton Arms

Stockwell - 177 S Lambeth Rd, London SW8 1XP

Even the drinks are seasonal at this Stockwell pub - from fresh lemonade and strawberry spritzes in the summertime to Camparis with blood orange in the winter. The daily menu is a masterpiece of great gastropubbery, including dishes like seven-hour Salt Marsh lamb shoulder.

More about Canton Arms


The Earl of DerbyThe Earl of Derby

New Cross - 87 Dennett's Rd, London SE14 5LW

This recently restored pub in New Cross has been brought back to its Victorian finest. The food is run by Gengelly's with a team that were previously behind Good as Gold in Brockley. Their menu focuses on proper pies, chargrilled meats and fish alongside weekly specials.

More about The Earl of Derby


Perry Hill Pub  Perry Hill Pub

Catford - 78-80 Perry Hill, London SE6 4EY

The new team at this much-loved South London local brought this pub back to the top level. Husband and wife team Phil Sutton and Oonagh McCormack had a wealth of pub experience before they took this on as their own project. A bespoke smoker means BBQ is a big thing here, but it’s not just a meat fest, there’s a lot of love for vegans here too. 

More about Perry Hill Pub


Also see... 

Park Tavern (Southfields) - Head here for some of London's best South African braai

Dartmouth Arms (Forest Hill) - This pub has is a MEATliquor pub, so expect great burgers (and a few specials just for this location)


East London

The Coach  The Coach

Clerkenwell - 26-28 Ray St, London EC1R 3DJ

This was the first pub to get the chef Henry Harris touch and although he’s since moved on to Bouchon Racine, the menu here retains a great mix of French and British influences. There’s usually something properly piggy on offer along with seafood from Devon and steak from Herefordshire.

More about The Coach


The Culpeper  The Culpeper

Spitalfields - 40 Commercial St, London E1 6LP

From its ground-floor dining roof and first-floor dining room to the rooftop terrace, there’s been a lot of love lavished on this Aldgate pub. This is a place that spends as much time on perfecting its pub bacon sandwich as it does the accompaniments of a burrata starter with nettles and pickled kohlrabi. 

More about The Culpeper


The Duke of Richmond  The Duke of Richmond

Dalston - 316 Queensbridge Rd, London E8 3NH

Tom Oldroyd's Hackney pub has some top burgers on the menu, including the signature burger with Roquefort, béarnaise & confit onions. A must-have is the Cornish crab chip butty while the wood-fired grill features dishes from butterflied Scottish mackerel to za’atar roasted baby aubergines. 

More about The Duke of Richmond


The Eagle  The Eagle

Farringdon - 159 Farringdon Rd, London EC1R 3AL

The Eagle is considered by many to be the birthplace of London's gastropub scene back in 1991 and the menu remains excellent to this day. Their steak sandwich is phenomenal and the main grill menu, written on a blackboard behind the bar, changes daily (sometimes twice daily). Check their Instagram account for what's on today.

More about The Eagle


The Marksman  The Marksman

Hackney - 254 Hackney Rd, London E2 7SJ

The Marksman saw St John chefs Tom Harris and Jon Rotheram convert this pub to being one of London's key foodie destinations. Upstairs is the main restaurant with a seasonal menu that includes mainstays like their phenomenal brown butter and honey tart (order it early in case it runs out). If you're in the pub downstairs, you'll definitely need one of their beef and barley buns with your pint. 

More about The Marksman


The Princess of Shoreditch  The Princess of Shoreditch

Shoreditch - 76-78 Paul St, London EC2A 4NE

This Shoreditch pub has had a relatively recent revamp and the main event is the upstairs restaurant which has a seasonal menu focused on British provenance. If you're in the bar downstairs, check out the bar snacks menu for their sausage roll with butcher sauce or get some brie and truffle goujeres to go with your pint. 

More about The Princess of Shoreditch


Three CompassesThree Compasses

Clerkenwell - 66 Cowcross St, London EC1M 6BP

Downstairs from one of London's best restaurants, Bouchon Racine, you'll find the Three Compasses. Like upstairs, it's a joint venture between Dave Strauss and Henry Harris which makes it one of the best pubs in the area. There's a notably good wine list and if you can't manage to get a booking in Bouchon Racine, the menu downstairs is pretty damned good too. 

More about Three Compasses


The Spread Eagle  The Spread Eagle

Homerton - 224 Homerton High St, London E9 6AS

This is London's first 100% vegan pub, with the food drink and fixtures and fittings all plant-based. Snacks include a whole baked 'shamembert' and there's even a Korean burger made with crispy fried chicken of the woods mushrooms.

More about The Spread Eagle


Also see... 

The Green (Clerkenwell) - Serving up Modern British seasonal food 

Scolt Head (Dalston) - There's a strong focus on provenance at this pub, and keep an eye out for their bone marrow burger with comte cheese.


West London

The Cadogan Arms  The Cadogan Arms

Chelsea - 298 King's Rd, London SW3 5UG

This Chelsea pub has recently been given a major overhaul and that includes the menu. It's now overseen by Kitchen Table's James Knappett and has ex-Harwood Arms chef Alex Harper in the kitchen. Bar snacks include an excellent black pudding Scotch egg while there's a showstopping sherry trifle on the main restaurant menu. 

More about The Cadogan Arms


The Cleveland Arms  The Cleveland Arms

Paddington - 28 Chilworth St, London W2 6DT

The Cleveland Arms has been around since 1842, and it remains one of the best pubs for food in the area. The menu changes regularly, but the steak and chips (whichever cut is on) is always worth a try. 

More about The Cleveland Arms


The Cow  The Cow

Notting Hill - 89 Westbourne Park Rd, London W2 5QH

The Cow is a much-loved Notting Hill pub that once, much to the joy of locals. saw off an attempt by Westminster council to close it down. The plates of oysters are not to be missed or you could just treat yourself to an enormous seafood platter and a great pint of Guinness. 

More about The Cow


The Harwood ArmsThe Harwood Arms

Walham Grove, London SW6 1QP

The Harwood Arms remains the only pub in London to have a Michelin star and has been home to some excellent chefs in its time, with The Ledbury's Brett Graham as its director. In the kitchen right now is ex-Ledbury chef Josh Cutress. The venison scotch eggs remain a must-have.

More about The Harwood Arms

Book The Harwood Arms


Parlour  Parlour

Kensal Rise - 5 Regent St, London NW10 5LG

Parlour was opened by chef Jesse Dunford Wood back in 2013 and has been going strong ever since. It's probably best known for the huge Desperate Dan's Cow Pie as well as their massive Chicken Kyivs. They even have an Arctic Roll for dessert. 

More about Parlour

Book Parlour


The PelicanThe Pelican

Notting Hill - 45 All Saints Road, London W11 1HE

This pub has undergone many iterations over its long lifespan but the newest revival has been a big hit with foodies and critics alike. The cosy atmosphere provides a backdrop to the small plates menu with dishes showcasing the local produce; their link to the local neighbourhood increases with regular events such as movie nights and Pilates classes.

More about The Pelican


The Princess RoyalThe Princess Royal

Notting Hill - 47 Hereford Rd, London W2 5AH

Ben Tish has been overhauling the food in Cubitt House pubs like The Coach Makers Arms in Marylebone and the Princess Royal was the first brand-new pub in the group. With a Med-led menu focusing on seasonal fish and shellfish this gorgeous-looking gastropub is worthy of a detour (not to mention it has a big garden and terrace).

More about The Princess Royal


See also...

Paradise by Way of Kensal Green - Modern European menu in Kensal Green

The Prince (West Brompton) - A pub with a huge outside space and with four restaurants in charge of the food. 


And if you fancy being outside...

London's best pub gardens for foodies
We look at some of the best pub gardens in London, where the alfresco space is more than matched by a great food menu. ...
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